An experienced recovery nurse has been elected as the new mayor of Ipswich in Suffolk.
Sarah Barber, 45, has succeeded to the role after just one year as a Labour councillor.
“I shall be very much a working mayor with my nursing commitments at the hospital”
She said the desire to “help people” that had driven her to become a nurse had also driven her to get involved in local politics.
Born in Aldershot into a military family, she studied health and social care at Anglia Ruskin University before training as a nurse.
She then started work at Ipswich Hospital in 2001, where she has spent her entire career to date, mostly working in recovery.
She currently works as both an adult and children’s nurse in the recovery room at the hospital’s Raedwald Day Surgery Unit, helping patients recover from the effects of anaesthesia.
“My mum has always said that I wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl and I am glad I have been able to spend my nursing career caring for the people of Ipswich,” she said.
“The desire that I had to become a nurse, to care and help people, is the same desire that made me want to become a borough councillor and now mayor,” said Ms Barber.
She added: “I shall be very much a working mayor with my nursing commitments at the hospital.”
Nurse becomes new mayor of East Anglian county town
Ms Barber was elected mayor at the council’s annual meeting in the Corn Exchange, where she succeeded Roger Fern, who now becomes deputy mayor.
The theme for her year in office is “This Mayor Can” and her official charities are Lighthouse Women’s Aid, the Ipswich Hospital Charity and FIND (Families in Need Ipswich).
At “mayor-making” ceremony at the Town Hall, she thanked colleagues for electing her and paid tribute to her family for their “unstinting support for me throughout my life”, especially her father Dennis who served in the Grenadier Guards.
“There is one person who only a few people in this hall would have met who gave me the first demonstration of the importance of public service and civic duty. That is my dad, who served in the army and died when he was 45,” she said.
Ms Barber, whose husband Luke will act as her consort, said: “We are both looking forward to serving and representing Ipswich and our family is very proud to see us fulfil these roles, as civic service is an important aspect of life.”
She added: “I enjoy walking holidays and swimming and I have completed three marathons. Health is obviously a priority and I am a member of our local gym and pools, run by the council.”